NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, March 22nd


Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!


All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page

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*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 60-66 | Units: -9.10 | ROI: -7.40%

New York Knicks at Miami Heat (-2, 221)

These two teams have only played twice this season, but we are seeing quite an adjustment on the total in this game today. In the first meeting between New York and Miami the market closed 216 consensus, and the game under the total with 210 total points. In the second meeting the total closed 215.5 and went sailing over the number in a wild affair. Today, the total opened up 5.5 points higher than the closing total of the second game and subsequently was bet up to 223.5 this morning. That is a massive adjustment from where this series was in the first two games, and I am willing to try to push back on that adjustment.

In the first two meetings neither team had more than 94 possessions, and both games together averaged 94.76 possessions. New York ranks 27th in pace this season (97.52) and Miami ranks 28th (96.87), so it is extremely likely that we get a similarly paced game tonight. In the second meeting, which flew over the total by 26.5 points, both teams put up over 1.266 points per possession and shot a combined 29-of-66 from deep (43.9%). Those types of performances are unlikely to repeat themselves tonight.

Miami ranks 25th in non-garbage time offensive efficiency with an average of 112.5 points every 100 possessions, and in that second game it put up 1.266 per possession. The Knicks and the Heat rank 23rd and 28th in 3-point shooting this season, and yet combined to hit 43.9% of their 3-point attempts in their last meeting. If the market is adjusting because of what happened when these two teams last met it is adjusting to a game that had quite a few statistical anomalies. I’ll take the chance and say that the adjustment is too much.

Bet: UNDER 223.5

Best Bet Recap

Knicks/Heat UNDER (223.5)

NBA Games & Odds

Denver Nuggets (-7, 226.5) at *Washington Wizards

Denver is 3-5 SU/2-6 ATS in its last eight games, but it is still capable of handling a bad Washington team. The Wizards fell to 2-6 SU and ATS in their last eight after the loss to the Magic last night. Over this stretch Washington has allowed 119.5 points per 100 possessions, and it was no different Tuesday night when Orlando averaged 1.208 per possession. It is also likely Kyle Kuzma misses this game tonight, as he was unavailable last night for Washington.

Golden State Warriors (-1.5, 233.5) at Dallas Mavericks

The market is moving toward Golden State this morning, but the total has been bumped up by a point as well which makes no sense. If the line is moving toward the Warriors that would mean that either Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving, or perhaps both, are not going to be available tonight. However, their absence would also cause the total to drop but it is up to 234.5 consensus. Irving and Doncic’s statuses will determine where both the side and total close, but until there is clarity there is no way to know which side to attack. If both play this line should close with the Mavericks laying about 2.5 points with a total as high as 236.5, but if one or neither play this line will move even more toward the Warriors and the total is sure to drop to about 230.5 or lower.

Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors (-9, 234.5)

This line has been cut down two points, so that would indicate the market believes Tyrese Haliburton is on his way back. Haliburton improves Indiana’s offensive efficiency by 8.7 points every 100 possessions he is on the floor, and the Pacers’ transition frequency off live rebounds jumps by 2.6% in those minutes as well. It would make sense that a jump in the total would follow this line move, considering how much better Haliburton makes Indiana’s offense, should he play. Scottie Barnes is also questionable for Toronto, so if he cannot go that is one less quality defender on the floor. Should Haliburton play and Barnes not, this game would be a candidate to go over the total.

Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies (-13.5, 226)

Ja Morant is available to return tonight, so that is why we’re seeing the total jump four points this morning. Morant improves the Grizzlies offensive efficiency when he is on the floor, specifically in transition, and that warrants a move like this. In the possessions with Morant on the floor the Grizzlies’ transition frequency jumps by 3.5% off live rebounds and their overall efficiency improves by 2.5 points every 100 possessions. He has missed nine games so there is a question as to how effective he will actually be tonight, but the market is getting this right in adjusting the total.

Philadelphia 76ers (-4, 222) at Chicago Bulls

You know it’s an ugly game when two overtime periods still cannot get you to the over, and that is exactly what transpired when these two teams met on Monday night. The market is going to adjust after a result like that, and the change was a five point difference between the closing total on Monday and the opening total last night. Furthermore, the market is betting this down and 221.5 is appearing on the board. These two teams were incredibly slow and inefficient on Monday. The entirety of the game only totaled 108 possessions, and the most efficient offense – Chicago – averaged just 1.009 points per possession. James Harden is questionable, so bettors will want him out on the floor, but even if he doesn’t play this offense should be quicker with Tyrese Maxey running the offense and an over could still be in play.

Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz (-2, 233.5)

Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant have been ruled out for this game which explains the move toward Utah, but the Jazz are not in perfect shape themselves. Lauri Markkanen could miss his second consecutive game with back soreness, and Jordan Clarkson is still sidelined. The market is pushing this total up, but with so many offensive pieces in danger of missing this game I would not be surprised to see buyback on the under at some point, especially if Markkanen is out again.

Phoenix Suns (-2, 227.5) at Los Angeles Lakers

Deandre Ayton will not play tonight, and that is a massive absence for Phoenix in this matchup. Ayton was the only real option the Suns have for Anthony Davis. It will either be Bismack Biyombo or Jock Landale who draw the start in Ayton’s place, and neither are really suited to guard Davis. Davis has averaged 26.2 points and 13.0 rebounds per game on 54.2% shooting from the floor since LeBron James’ injury. His current points and rebounds prop at DraftKings is 43.5 which is slightly higher than that average, but it could be worth it for some bettors to bank on Davis having a big day against a short-handed frontcourt.